China criticizes 'kill everyone' remark on U.S. talk show

BEIJING/LOS ANGELES Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:40pm EST

BEIJING/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A controversy over a child's remark on an American television talk show that jokingly advocated killing Chinese people to avoid paying down U.S. debt to that country continued to simmer three weeks after the event, as China on Monday sharply criticized the show's host.

Chinese-American groups staged a protest demonstration on Saturday outside the California headquarters of ABC, the broadcaster of the show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

The controversy blew up after a segment of the show that aired on October 16. Host Jimmy Kimmel, who often uses children on his show for comedic effect on adult issues, asked a group of four children during a non-scripted segment how the United States should pay back the $1.3 trillion it owes to China, the world's second-largest economy. A 6-year-old replied, "Kill everyone in China."

Kimmel replied: "That's an interesting idea."

Kimmel's show is pre-taped.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said ABC must respond to the Chinese-American community's protests.

"It's necessary to point out that spreading racism and hatred runs counter to the media's social responsibility," he told a regular news briefing.

ABC has issued a statement expressing regret for the incident, and Kimmel apologized on October 28 on his show.

ABC, which is owned by Walt Disney Co, on Saturday issued a statement in Chinese intended for China that apologized again for the segment and said it has added new quality controls.

"The simple fact is, the segment should never have been broadcast," ABC said in the statement. "Systems we have in place for these types of things did not function properly, and steps have been made to try and prevent this kind of egregious mistake from occurring in the future."

ABC's apologies have yet to temper outrage among Chinese-American groups, which held a demonstration against Kimmel and ABC outside the network's Burbank, California, headquarters on Saturday. The demonstration attracted 1,500 people, the Burbank Leader, a local newspaper, reported.

Critics say ABC should have cut the offending segment before it was aired. The network said it had no further comment after Saturday's statement.

(Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan in Beijing and Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles; Editing by Robert Birsel and Leslie Adler)

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Comments (12)
Will80 wrote:
It is a sin to kill anyone, unless in self defense, or while protecting those we love. However, the Chinese Government takes a laid back stand over the people and animals that a number of their toxic and inferior products have killed.

The pollution in China is so rampant that their own people are beginning to suffer and die. The toxins are in their air, land, and water supplies. And anything that grows in that land, or animals that feed off of that land and breath the air, contain those toxins.

If the human or pet food products say made in China, I avoid them entirely. And some of the manufactures are beginning to avoid putting on the place of origin labels, to avoid advertising China, so inquire about the place of origin prior to purchase.

Nov 11, 2013 5:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
lygmjsxz wrote:
@Will80, please back to our discussion. The racial hatred discussion in Jimmy Kimmel show is unaccpetable and any efforts to want to cover up have no use at all.

Nov 12, 2013 1:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
lygmjsxz wrote:
@Will80, please back to our discussion. The racial hatred discussion in Jimmy Kimmel show is unaccpetable and any efforts to want to cover up have no use at all.

Nov 12, 2013 1:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
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